OKLAHOMA CITY — Charities providing relief to residents of tornado-ravaged neighborhoods in Moore and Oklahoma City are seeing an infusion of donations from around the country as Americans open up their pocketbooks to help people in the Sooner State.
Several of those charities also were anticipating a boost in giving Wednesday, after several country music stars with Oklahoma ties took to the stage at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown Oklahoma City for a telethon, “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert.” Performers were scheduled to include Oklahoma native Blake Shelton and his Grammy Award-winning wife, Miranda Lambert, as well as Oklahoma natives Vince Gill and Reba McEntire. Also set to perform were Usher, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts.
The money raised through the telethon was going to the United Way of Central Oklahoma, which will distribute funding to partner agencies directly engaged in helping in relief and recovery efforts for those affected by the May 20 tornado, said Karla Bradshaw, a spokeswoman for the United Way of Central Oklahoma.
“Those are the ones that are dealing right now with the immediate needs,” Bradshaw said.
Donations have poured in to Oklahoma since two major tornadoes ripped through the state last week, killing 26 people and affecting nearly 4,000 homes, businesses and other buildings in five counties. Twenty-four people, including 10 children, were killed in the May 20 tornado that hit the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.
The Salvation Army reported Tuesday that it already has raised more than $5 million in monetary donations, as well as in-kind food donations from numerous corporations.
A spokeswoman for the Salvation Army working in Moore said giving money is the best way people can help.